You should buy it
You should buy it
Safety advantage. The Highlander has several advantages going it in the safety department: it’s rated a Top Safety Pick by the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the Pathfinder doesn’t have such a rating) AND all trims of the Highlander come standard with lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist.
Hybrid availability. The Highlander is one of the only crossovers in its class to offer an optional hybrid powertrain. So for those buyers looking for a green side in their three-row crossover, the Toyota has something the Nissan can’t offer.
Better reliability. Consumer Reports rates the Highlander’s reliability at 5/5 whereas the Pathfinder only gets a 3/5 rating. This can be a crucial factor when choosing a vehicle, especially if you plan on owning one for a long time and need to count on its reliability.
More cargo space. Whether it’s behind the second row of seats (with the third row folded) or behind the third row of seats, the Pathfinder beats the Highlander for cargo space.
More third-row space. If it’s important to you to have useful space in the third row of seats for passengers, consider that the Pathfinder has three inches of extra legroom over the Highlander.
More towing capability. The Pathfinder is rated to tow 6,000 pounds, a 1,000-pound advantage over the Highlander. Consider this if your driveway also holds a boat, RV or similarly large trailer.
We’d have no qualms recommending the Pathfinder here, especially if third-row space is important to buyers. But with better safety, reliability and the potential to add a hybrid powertrain, the Highlander is the more appealing of the two overall. So we say Buy the Highlander.
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